December 02, 2007

From Daryl Krupa:

Re: “Noah’s flood” spread farming, researchers say (Nov. 19): That link contains a few misleading statements.

1) “A decade-old theory holds that about 7,500 years ago, a deluge filled the Black Sea... ” “Although some researchers dispute the theory... ”

That hypothesis had two main proponents: William Ryan and Walter C. Pitman III.

Ryan is one of the researchers who not only disputes the “theory”, but has discarded it and replaced it with first one, then another, Black Sea flood scenario, which both explicitly deny that there was any significant change in Black Sea level 7,500 years ago.

Rather, he agrees with the detractors of the original idea that the evidence that they used to attempt to show that a flood event had occurred 7,500 years ago only indicates that water deep below the surface became saltier, centuries after any possible sudden rise in Black Sea level.

That original idea is no longer discussed by marine scientists.

2) “A catastrophic rise in global sea level led to the flooding of the Black Sea and drove dramatic social change across Europe”...

No catastrophic rise was demonstrated in the recent study by Turney and Brown.

3) “The deluge “could have led to the displacement of 145,000 people”, they explained.

There is no explanation attached to that claim, because there is no way of knowing how many people would have been displaced by the flood in their scenario.

4) “The trigger for the hypothesized flood would have been the collapse of the North American Ice Sheet some 8,000 years ago”...

They claimed that a “collapse” of the North American ice sheet raised global sea level 1.4 metres, but the event they refer to lasted six centuries, over which time global sea level slowly rose much more than 1.4 metres.

What they meant was that an ice-dammed lake partially drained into the sea about 8400 years ago, halfway through the “collapse” period, which drainage had once been calculated to have raised global sea level by 1.4 metres, but more reliable calculations have since indicated that the resultant global sea level rise was perhaps half a metre.

The “collapse” was a progressive erosion of the ice in the Hudson Bay basin by splitting-off of icebergs and their floating out to sea through Hudson Strait, rather than slower creep of the ice away from the high point of the ice dome centred on the Hudson Bay basin.

It was not a sudden event.

5) “This would have raised sea levels causing water to violently breach the Bosporus Strait, which previously dammed the Mediterranean and kept the Black Sea as a freshwater lake.”

There is no physical evidence whatsoever of any kind of a dam across the Bosphorus Strait at any time.

Ryan and Pitman postulated its existence as a necessary mechanism for delaying the entry of Mediterranean water into the Black Sea basin for 1 1/2 millennia after it should have been able to enter that basin. It was never anything more than a convenient fiction.

Ergo, the “violent breach” could not have occurred.

Ryan does not claim its existence in his revised flood scenarios.

6) “The Australian and U.K. researchers created reconstructions of the Mediterranean and Black Sea shoreline before and after the hypothesized sea level rise.”

The Black Sea reconstruction was based on a computer modelling exercise that related to a scenario that originated with that modeller, a scenario which has not been discussed by marine scientists.

That scenario was not based on the available evidence.

“They estimated that nearly 73,000 square km of land, an area about the size of Ireland, was lost to the sea in one 34-year period.”

Here they refer to the area around the Black Sea that was supposedly flooded, but that measurement, and the time span of 34 years, do not relate to real conditions.

7) “Controversy has dogged the flood hypothesis from the start, although it has support from evidence including signs of human habitation found well beneath the sea.”

That is a reference to the outlines formed by linear arrangements of low mounds on the Black Sea floor, found by Bob Ballard at his Site 82, which was declared by him to be a “human habitation”.

Ballard has not been back to that site since the wood he collected from it was dated to Napoleon’s time.

The outline is pointed at one end, rounded at the other, with a rectangular arrangement of low mounds near the rounded end, making it look much as one would expect a Crimean-War-era shipwreck to look.

No scientists are now claiming that Site 82 contains evidence of a terrestrial human habitation site.

Ballard’s Site 82 contains no support for a flood hypothesis.

8) “The authors of the Quaternary Science Reviews paper are sticking close to the original deluge hypothesis, proposed by marine geologists William Ryan and Walter Pitman in 1996.”

The authors of the paper are not sticking closely to the original Ryan and Pitman deluge hypothesis, because the authors calculate that a flood happened about 700 years earlier, at about 8300 years ago, when conditions were not suitable to the original hypothesis.

Rather, that modelled average of two radiocarbon dates (unsupported by any theory) matches the timing of the flood in Ryan’s first revised scenario, which does not allow the original scenario to occur.

The authors cite Ryan’s second revision as a source of information, but conveniently ignore Ryan’s latest calculation in that revised scenario that a sudden flood event in the Black Sea basin could not have occurred later that 9400 years ago.

The scenario [proposed by Turney and Brown is original with them, and is not supported by physical evidence.

Turney and Brown do not seem to have understood, and may not have read, the most relevant publications on this subject.

Their “Rapid Communication” (not a properly peer-reviewed scientific article) is not a reliable source of information, and the claims contained therein may be safely ignored.


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